Jack and Kay Walsh are typical of many couples of the 1940s, where he is the breadwinner and she the housewife dependent upon him to do the man's duties around the house. Jack believes one of their neighbors in the housing complex in which they live in Los Angeles is white trash - he letting her know so at every opportunity, while Kay is quietly curious about her. That neighbor is streetwise Hazel Zanussi, an aspiring singer who does get a chance to sing on occasion at the club managed by her casual boyfriend, Biscuits Toohey, although he relegates her to being one of the taxi dancers more often against her wants, while he cheats on her behind her back despite truly having feelings for her. Hazel just wants to make an honest living. Their worlds are turned upside down on December 7, 1941 when the US enters WWII with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Jack immediately enlists in the Navy, and while he will send money home, his decision leaves Kay largely to fend for herself. Against...Written by
The original script was written by Nancy Dowd and then re-written by others. When the film was released, the writing credit was assigned to the fictional "Rob Morton". See more »
In the first minutes of the movie, the character Jack comes out of the shower and sits in a chair with only a towel wrapped around him. As he sits, it is revealed that he is, in fact, naked under the towel which is easily viewed. See more »
Hazel... we showed 'um didn't we.
Boy, did we ever.
[both hug and cry]
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Opening credits are shown over old, black and white photos. See more »
A fan edit exists online restoring Jonathan Demme's original cut (6 mins longer). The recut uses both theatrical footage and VHS editing bay shots that have been carefully edited back in. See review for longer explanation See more »
In this WW2-era drama, Goldie Hawn is the main character, and she tries to keep pace with the changes in her life as she goes from demure housewife from Iowa to lead lineperson in an aircraft factory by day and some-time escort of a jazz trumpeter (with a motorcycle/sidecar, no-less) by night. An interesting unfolding of the individual takes place amongst the trials of war-time life. When she finally, after many months, succumbs to the jazzman's charms, I was sympathetic toward her loneliness and formerly-repressed need for expression. During her tryst, it was always evident that she still loved her husband, played by Ed Harris, who was away in the navy. The fine acting jobs by Hawn, Harris, Russel and Christine Lahti are not exactly wasted in Swing Shift, but I would have liked to have seen more of the inner persons exposed, especially in regards to their thoughts and questions about why the Japanese attacked. The movie is good, but the individuals portrayed in the movie accept the war and their roles in it somewhat robotically, in that there is very little dialogue regarding the U.S. military's presence in Hawaii and other foreign countries. I feel this kind of dialogue would have helped develop the characters more. A fine move, well-directed and well-produced. Some powerful acting by Hawn, who manages to seem scared, but dauntless at the same time. Not an easy thing to do.
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